How come there's no party for me?

SethMoland-Kovash
09/27/2010

Thoughts on lectionary texts for Oct. 3, 2010 Lectionary 27

How come there's no party for me?

Habakkuk 1:1-4; 2:1-4 ; Psalm 37:1-9 2 ; Timothy ; 1:1-14 Luke ; 17:5-10

We are worthless slaves. We have done only what we ought to have done. This is the gospel good news of the Lord?

Our Lord commands his disciples (that means us!) not to presume that we deserve thanks or praise for the things that we do in the life of faith. We do not deserve thanks or praise for feeding the poor. We do not deserve thanks and praise for sharing our faith with neighbors. We are worthless slaves; we have done only what we ought to have done.

As Jesus says, when a servant does what the servant is supposed to do, nobody throws a party. Nobody throws a party and says, "Great job! Come and join us at the banquet." We don't have slaves or servants today, but how many of you throw a party when the dry cleaner returns your shirt on time and looking nice? Maybe sometimes we feel like we should or that it would be a nice thing to do, and yet we just don't. It doesn't happen.

Except that it does. Each and every time Jesus' disciples gather in worship around the world, a party is thrown. And we are given a seat at the table. We -- the worthless slaves -- the ones who've done only what we ought to have done. We are given a place at God's great banquet table. And we are fed and nourished and treated like royalty.

When we're fed and nourished, we're then called to rise up and be messengers. We're called to rise up and be heralds. Habakkuk is told to be so bold in his proclamation, to write the letters so big, that even somebody running past could read it -- billboard size! Timothy is told to hold fast to the teaching and proclamation that he'd been taught.

Talkback:

- When do you find it hard to be bold in your proclamation and in your life of faith?

- What helps you to be a little bit more bold?

- How does the bold and lavish welcome that you receive to the Lord's table feed your own boldness?

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Rev. Seth Moland-Kovash

The Rev. Seth Moland-Kovash is a pastor at All Saints Lutheran Church in Palatine, Ill.

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